When life gets challenging, we often make things even tougher by being hard on ourselves.
We berate ourselves for feeling down, as if we should be positive and happy all the time. We minimize our feelings, as if we have no right to be struggling since things could be so much worse. And we hold ourselves to ridiculous standards, pushing ourselves to do more, keep up with everyone else, and respond to life’s stressors with perfect composure.
Or at least these are things I’ve done.
I know that life is messy and I’m only human, but sometimes I expect more from myself than I’d ever expect from someone I love, and demand more of myself than I can reasonably give. Then I end up feeling bad about how I’m coping while feeling bad, which makes it awfully hard to feel (and do) better.
If you’re dealing with a lot right now and stressing yourself out with fears, worries, and expectations, I have a feeling you’ll appreciate these ten reminders. They’re all thoughts that help me validate myself, accept my present circumstances, and have faith that I’ll be okay no matter what’s coming.
If you’d like to print this list for daily reference, you can download a printable version here, along with a two-page worksheet to help you support yourself through whatever you’re currently facing. (You’ll also find two printables related to letting go of control, the first free resources I created as companions to my upcoming Inner Strength Journal.)
10 Reminders to Tell Yourself Daily
1. You don’t have to feel guilty about feeling sad, bad, anxious, angry, or any other “negative” feeling. You’re not a “negative person.” You’re human.
2. You have a right to feel how you feel even if other people have it worse. Your pain is valid, regardless of what anyone else is going through.
3. You’re doing the best you can based on your life experiences, traumas, conditioning, beliefs, current challenges, and coping skills. As you learn new skills, you’ll cope better, but you may still struggle to apply what you’ve learned, and that’s okay. No one copes perfectly in an imperfect situation.
4. You don’t have to push yourself to be productive. It’s okay to rest or do the bare minimum when you’re struggling. This isn’t being lazy; it’s being kind to yourself—and you deserve it.
5. You’re not “falling behind.” It’s possible that you’re exactly where you need to be to learn, grow, and heal, meaning someday you might look back and consider this chapter a crucial part of your life journey.
6. You don’t have to please or impress anyone else, including yourself. Sometimes it’s enough just to live and make it through the day.
7. You don’t need to have anything figured out right now. You just need to take it one day at a time, trusting that you’ll find answers and solutions if you keep moving forward.
8. You are not alone, and you don’t have to pretend or hide. There are people who care and want to help—and because they’ve struggled too, they understand and would never judge you.
9. You won’t feel this way forever. Just as you’ve survived dark times before, you’ll eventually get past this and maybe even feel proud of yourself for how you made it through.
10. Nothing is guaranteed in the future, but you have the strength to handle whatever might be coming, and the capacity to make the best of it.
I hope these reminders bring you peace, comfort, and relief! You can access the printable version of this list and the companion worksheet here.
Also, just a reminder: For a limited time, you can get a free 318-page eBook—Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Overcoming Hard Times—when you preorder Tiny Buddha’s Inner Strength Journal through one of the vendors listed here.